Riverside: the 2nd most miserable city in the U.S. (Rubidoux: low crime, theater)
San Bernardino and Riverside CountiesThe Inland Empire
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Misery is in the eye of the beholder. I was never miserable in CA, but I had a momentary lapse of sanity and moved out of state. I was back 9 months later. I was miserable out of state though! I am happy to be back. I like where I'm at now, La Quinta, but pretty much everything I do is either in Riverside, LA, or OC. I happen to have a particular fondness for the Hawarden area of Riverside, which is where we plan to move to next. The desert has its charm, and although I am used to the summer heat here, a few degrees cooler would be nice, and I could do without scorpions in my house!
In your next sentence you admit that it's all subjective - so I have to believe that the comment above was a joke - because believe me, I am NOT miserable here - I love it!
I'm a fifth generation Californian - and I love all of this state. It's beautiful! And yes, I have traveled and been to other places - but I would never seriously consider leaving Southern California. And I love Los Angeles - it's a great city! I don't know why it was a multi-day trip for you, but I can be in Idyllwild and the snow in winter, in less than an hour - and to Los Angeles and the city or the beach in less than two hours - and I go often.
Believe me, some of use really do LOVE Riverside and aren't a bit miserable here!
It really is all in what you want. I lived in OC immediately before moving there. I loved the laid back feel of Riverside, and that you could drive OUT of it and past open space before you got to Corona. The population density was fairly light. Traffic was light at night. I grew up in the San Fernando valley like my mom, and when I lived there the seperate areas, though not towns, were seperated by space. Riverside reminded me very much of then.
There are things I still love about it. But not enought to live there. The population exploded and traffic became a nightmare. My neighbhood got taken over by the local barrio and my son got harrassed by roving small sized gangs. Only because we had three loud dogs did we not get broken into. And all that open space was replaced by ugly houses and more concrete. If Riverside had stayed the laid back town it was it would be different, but it didn't. It wasn't the same place I chose to move to in the first place.
If you don't mind fighting traffic to go to Orange county for some fun, or LA or even inland then its fine they are near. For me having land without sibdivisions nearby is comfort. My house was build in 1930 and has character. I like that I know all my neighbors. These are the things which matter to me. If something different is good for someone else its great, since we all deserve to find our place.
I'm conflicted on going back and seeing the Nature center and the Downtown area since I have good memories there and don't want to compromise them.
For some, despite changes and air you can taste Riverside is not miserable at all. For some it is, and I suspect many have left. I just think its sad that what was rather unique in socal got just made ordinary.
Brief history of Riverside... In 1895 it had the highest per capita income of anywhere in the United States because of the orange groves - that's why there are so many beautiful Victorian homes from that time period - the people had money, and they spent it on their homes! And even when my mother was a child in the 1950's it was still a glamorous place - and fairly prosperous. But the economy started to turn after that - and Riverside was no longer the upscale place it had once been - which is why so many of those old Victorians still exist. In cities that were prosperous in the middle of the last century, the old Victorians were torn down to make way for new buildings - but in Riverside, the big old mansions were just converted into apartments. The fact that Riverside was economically depressed actually saved it's history.
I first moved to Riverside in 1999 - the downtown area, right in the shadow of Mount Rubidoux - and that neighborhood and all of downtown are much nicer now than they were in 1999. You have to remember that even the Mission Inn was closed down from 1985 to 1993 - so the downtown area, even when I moved there, six years later, was still recovering. But now it's beautiful! And economically healthy.
So for me, I see a city that was once beautiful and wealthy, and went through decades of trouble, but is starting to turn the corner. No, it's not perfect, but if you look at downtown, it's getting better every single year - and there's no reason to believe that won't continue.
I also happen to remember going to a movie in downtown San Diego when I was a kid, and being horrified - there were porn theaters right on Fifth Avenue. But the city of San Diego had a plan, and Horton Plaza was the first step, and now all these years later Fifth Avenue is the middle of everything in the Gaslamp District. It's insane how much it's changed - it went from flea-bag hotels and porn movies to very expensive night clubs and office buildings and lots of restaurants.
Downtown Riverside doesn't have the tourist potential that Downtown San Diego did, but the point is that once a downtown area starts to change for the better, amazing things can happen - and I've seen that in Riverside. It's a completely different place than it was when I first moved there in 1999.
So yeah, you can only look at the economic numbers and declare Riverside miserable - but if you do, you're missing out on an awful lot of good stuff!
When Norton AFB in San Bernardino was decommissioned back in the 80's, that critically injured that city. With the downfall in train traffic due to the economy, that has been a dagger in the back in the city. Riverside had March AFB partially decommed, and that hit the city really hard. With the fall in RE, and the lack of job growth in the surrounding counties, little incentive exists for the region to grow, in that it was a bedroom community for Orange/L.A. counties.
You also have to take into account what crack/meth did to the region. I remember Riverside quite fondly when I would visit family during the summer. But drugs have just overwhelmed that county as it did with San Bernardino. If one doesn't take into account that one variable, then their response is incomplete. My buddy and I bought a small apartment complex on 14th Street, close to downtown. Time after time we had to evict tenants due to their drug addictions and all of them had jobs at the time we rented to them. One instance I'll never forget. One guy had a very good job at a medical lab, had a college degree, and was making good money. He liked the fact that our rents were very good and it was walking distance to work. First year no problems. Second year he became a tweeker and it just blew up. He lost everything. We couldn't believe that he would succumb to the pipe but he did. And we had three other tenants who also lost jobs due to their addictions. We got out in 05 and were lucky that we did. But it was a very sobering lesson of just how much the drug trade has destroyed Riverside....
Crack and meth affected almost all lower income areas - it's not just Riverside, or California. I have a friend in Indiana, and his tiny hometown had a huge meth problem. Low income areas were just a magnet for that kind of activity.
...we should be moving to Hawarden Hills by the end of the year!!!
We were a bit skeptical of Riverside due to the negativity that surrounds it but....the idiots compiling the lists base their completed analysis on mainly current statistics and do not consider where a city has been and where it's going.
Phoenix, for example, may get a bad rap but we currently live just 30 minutes NE of downtown and it's heavenly but we live in a very desirable neighborhood toward the top of the hill with panoramic mountain views and beautiful sunrises and even more striking sunsets so....alot of opinions are sometimes skewed, I believe, due to possibly undesired lower economic conditions...sometimes temporary and just in a rut...sometimes permanent because they just can't change it.
Your glass of vino...or water...can be half full or half empty anywhere.
I have spent a lot of time in Riverside and never experienced this so-called "misery". Although it's not my favorite IE city, Riverside has safe, middle income neighborhoods with plenty of housing and lots to do relatively close (mountains, beaches, Disneyland, the Angels, the Ducks, hiking, the list goes on...)
Misery is what one makes of it, and if anyone feels as Riverside, brings misery, bring it on! Riverside does have a lot going on for it. Theater, The Arts, the famous Mission Inn, infact downtown Riverside, is a lot nicer then downtown a lot of other towns have. And some fine eateries, and art gallerys.
Riverside is not crowded as Temecula, that place is terrible, That rancho road, is awful.
Being in real esate here for 15 years, we have custom homes, that beveryl hills, would have. We have some wonderful areas, as Hawarden Hills, Victoria Groves, The Esates, Hillcrest, Victorian Gardens, Mission Grove, Canyon Crest, Canyon Crest Esates, Lake Hills Area.
And i am sure newer areas, i am now not aware of. Woodcrest, Woodcrest Estates, Orangecrest, and each area, does have custom homes.
So many of the homes in Canyon Crest, are not close together at all, infact Riverside, has a lot of areas newer, with good size lots as does Woodcrest.
Each city, has its good points, and its bad, and i have found out if you look for perfect you will not find it.
Riverside is great, not far from the beaches, the mountains, closer to vegas. And a ton of casinos, if that rocks your boat. The casinos do have nite life.
I'd live in the Wood Streets neighborhood without a second thought.
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